Since the weather has finally been nice - I decided to go out and start preparing some beds.
basically, weeding, pulling grass and just turning the soil.
Most of the area I work on is technically not my yard, but a field way behind my home... but if i had not been working on it the past 7-8 yrs, it would be a mass of goldrod and cut leaf teasel as far as the eye can see.
Here is a photo taking while i was sitting on my back patio yesterday... from the patio to the fence is only 20' ... and my rough guestimate is another 120' to that back [highway] fence.
the past few yrs it has just been Rhubarb ... but the summer of 08 my neighbor dumped all sorts of 'stuff' in my compost bin [i'm still picking chicken bones out of the soil] ... so i dumped the entire bin, covered it with cardboard and then soil.
Spring of 2009 I planted some annuals, ornamental peppers, some WS'ed wild flowers and a few other WS'ed plants.
the bed looked OK last year... but it will be better this year.
Since i knew most of what was there were annuals, i was able to dug up most of the weeds/grass. Pulled out 6 little Husker Reds and potted them up - hopefully they will go to good homes.
the Rhubarb is starting to emerge ... as are a few of the perennials from last year.. though i'm not sure what they all are... the few plant tags i had faded [darned paint pen]
Oh.. i also found the Jacob Cline starting to grow... I caged it so i know where to find it.. Luckily I know what Monarda looks like so i dont pull it.
here is a newer one I'm also spending more time on this year... the area previous photo is just to the lower right in this image... i have a path of grass, one lawn mower width in between the two small beds.
This one... and i cleaned it up after the photo was taken ... has Cone Flowers, Agastache and Verbena Stricta and a lot of weeds.
Wow Tcs looks great! Love the Bunny Bush area! I have no idea where to plant everything I am growing this year. I think I have a lot of work ahead... I have this big pile of dirt in my yard that needs to be moved. If I remember right I was going to get some Scabiosa out to you in spring? Do you have room?
Thanks Meredith... i actually bought some... i know i know... why buy seeds... but they are "Summer Berries Mix"
big 2" blooms and gorgeous colors. If i get a bunch of blooms... i'll be saving them for sure.
You can save the seeds for next years swap. I would still like to have some "blue" one day...
and behind my Bunny Bush... I've been cleaning back there... got a good area cleared before the snow hit on Saturday.
but i have a lot of that Garlic Mustard back there i need to eradicate -- that stuff is nasty.. i just doesnt give up.
Is the garlic mustard the vine type plant? I didn't even think that was a weed! lol I wonder if it is good for butterflies? I know some eat the mustard family, not sure if that is actually in that family though.
I orderd some Scabiosa seed but it isn't a perennial - it's a mix I got at swallowtails. I think they are supposed to be fragrant. I am on a fragrant flower kick this year. Oh and a re seeding annual kick too. : )
I checked your link - I see that in my yard from time to time. Lol I didn't mean I'd eat it, I was wondering if it could be used as a host by caterpillars of butterflies. : ) I looked it up and it's in the Brassicaceae family, however even if it could be a host plant, I'm sure there are much better things to grow for them, where that one is such a problem. What is the vine looking plant in the bunny area pic? It looks like it has heart shape leaves and serrated edges..
LOL and i did find recipes on that site... yick, i'd never eat that stuff.
OH... that would either be the Wild Grape... though i did have some MG"s [grandpa Ott] growing back there one year... **looked back at the image... that is the Wild Grape.
I've never seen butterflies on or near the Mustard.
it's so ironic... I bought my childhood home back in 1998 from Mom. When i was doing some weeding one day... i stumbled upon a HUGE patch of the garlic mustard... so i asked my mom where it came from... and she said... Oh i found it at the Nature Center, thought is was pretty so i brought it home." I lived there for another 13 yrs, never fully got rid of it.
Well, i do know that the Nature Center had tons of volunteers each year picking that nasty stuff. When my kid was in Boy Scouts, that was one of their duties.
I'm sure mom just pulled some out, roots and all and planted it. **shakes head**
though this was way before computers, so it's not like she could have looked it up... she was walking Molly [her Golden at teh time] and probably just grabbed some.
at least i dont have it in my yard here... but it's back in the field.
I'll try to remember to take the camera out with me tomorrow... weather forecast said... more sun tomorrow... so i'll be out back doing something.
well, the weather liars lied for todays weather.
yesterday they said it would be sunnier than yesterday, which was gorgeous [50's but sunny]
so i planned to spend part of hte day working in the flower beds... i have not seen one iota of sun today and now they are talking rain.
I spent a few hrs cleaning out weeds and dead stuff -- have pics but my kid is using my PC for homework. [now why did i buy him his own laptop?]
but all that kneeling and pulling - my back is aching.
I direct sown some Nasties, Marigolds, Painted Daisies and Fountain grass. I even put in plant markers so i dont pull them when they germinate.
OH and Meredith... i did find some of the Butterfly Blue in my seed basket. Guess i did not use them all yet. Hopefully i'll have energy to sow tonight... i have some seeds soaking, and need to get them in soil.
Gosh that's a lot of work Terese! Gotta love those bare ground pictures but gotta tell ya I'd be having a good stiff drink about now! Looks like you are fighting about what I'm fighting here lol Looks like you are winning though not fair! Can't wait to see all those pretty flowers this year.
Tony and I worked on my herb bed yesterday but about all I can see is that limelight wormwood just hoping it didn't take over my skullcaps I'm really sweating those I don't know what posessed me to plant that wormwood in my herb bed lol
I'll have to take a picture of my side yard Robin is coming Sat. so I'm going to hit her up to help me with my camera keep your fingers crossed for me lol She's coming to dig plants so I can't get her too tired to help me :) She may have to make another trip for more plants :)
You even thought to use the plant markers I'm proud of you girl!
Lookin good Terese! Lea I hope Robin helps you figure out the camera! I would love to see pics of your gardens! Maybe you could get her to get back there in June when your gardens are in their glory! That would be awesome. : )
Teresa, I really enjoyed reading through these posts. You sure have been working hard! I can't wait to see your gardens in full bloom.
I'm pretty happy with the germination I've been getting in my 8 WS'd containers. 7 have germinated. Far better than I've ever gotten before.
Looking forward to seeing more pictures of you WS'd beds.
Karen - I've done it only in one location. I started turning the weed bed / field into flower beds back in 03 I think.. it's been a slow process, but since these beds already have perennials in them, I couldn't do the lasagna thing, right?
the image in the 2nd post, that are I 'sort of' did the lasagna thing... back in 08, my neighbor had been putting 'all sorts of stuff' in my compost tumbler, it sort of got out of control and was so wet, i could no longer use it... So i dumped the contents of the tumbler and put down cardboard then topped it with soil. [i think that was the order]
The following year, i put in plants. it worked pretty well. though i'm still finding chicken bones when i did. Luckily, my dog is not.
Terese, I have done my own version of a "modified" lasagna bed like this. I covered the surface with newspaper but didn't cover the existing perennials. I put down the newspaper around and between the perennials. I topped that with organic mulch, mostly grass clippings and leaves and half-done compost but kept it a few inches away from existing perennials. I used about 8" of mulch I think. It made for wonderful results- nice soil and healthy existing plants and the level of dirt wasn't raised at all, or not noticeably so. (i.e. the perennials didn't end up planted too deep.
thanks karen. that makes sense. So, i can do that in the Fall then? and I do seem to extend the beds just a lil bit every year too... so doing that method should make things easier in the following spring.
Terese, I am doing the very same thing that Karen is doing. I get cardboard from a local Ben Franklin store and an auto body shop and put it down as I get it. I put rocks on it to keep them from blowing away. Then, as I get leaves and grass clippings, I dump them on top. I cover that with a layer of compost as I get it. I just mowed yesterday and dumped my first load of grass clippings. I don't wait to plant, just plant as I want to. We are on 5 acres, and I don't have the energy to dig up all of that grass/weeds.
Lea, btw, I have a lot of your seeds germinating. I have almost 150 germinating containers now, out of approx 500. I have milk jugs, deli containers and seed flats everywhere!
Well I just went out and took some pictures of my beds now I just might be able to show them to you Terese after Robin leaves Sat. lol Took some pictures of my hellebores and plumonaria too :)
All of those acres would drive me crazy lol I can barely deal with almost two keeping it looking half way decent, sometimes I can go thru pictures from when I first moved out here and it was so neat and manicured but there were no flowers at all now there are leaf beds, weeds in the flower beds it just looks so messy to me sometimes with trying to keep up with all these beds lol I'm hoping to get it all straightened out this year last year just set me back way too much!
Lynn, was just going to dmail you and ask about the patens salvias I have three that have germinated for me so far just planted them last week :) 500 containers??? No way you must have been planting in your dreams! I've never heard of someone planting that many before LOL U go girl!
I am fortunate enough to have 2 8x12 glass GH. (We got them cheap off Craig's List, they were in need of repair) The 2nd one just got completed and I have practically lived in there the last 2 months (sowing seeds). I sowed most of the seeds that I got from the Piggy Swap and my own saved seeds. Two days ago, I was saddened because I have sowed some of most everything I have. Now comes the hard part - planning where to plant them all (and actually doing it.)
Here is my Unheated GH that just is now filled with seed flats and containers (added many more since the picture was taken.)
Here is the inside of my heated GH ( usually 40-45 degrees when heat is on). I used this one to root brug cuttings and overwinter some things. The heater didn't keep up with our cold freeze spell early winter, and I lost most of my tropical Hibiscus and Elephant Ears, and a few others.
The GH looks neater now - it gets messy really fast!
I still have my sloppy looking bubble wrap up, and hanging at the back is bubble wrap and the foil backed insulation that I use in winter to block off the entrance to my tool shed (don't want to pay to heat it.) It looks bad, but it works.
Terese, it is hard to wait, I wish I would have had the time for gardening earlier in my life when I had more energy (3 boys used all of my energy!) I have only done this for 2 years - and I am almost 58 now. I stopped working outside the home at that time, otherwise there is no way I could keep up with working and the yard.
2 more pix, and then I am done.
Also, the Piggy Swap last year and the introduction of WS ( mainly by you) is what started this passion for me. THANKS so much!!!!
Good idea! If I lived alone, I would probably do that. You should move here to western WA, great Zone 7. We didn't even get any snow this year.
I am not going to heat the newest GH, too expensive. But since it is essentially the same night temp and cloudy rainy day temperature as outside, I use it for "modified" WS'ing. I just have to do the watering myself. The big question I have have, is if they will transplant to the garden as easy as the outside WS milk jugs did last year. I don't have a cold frame and I am too lazy to harden them off properly.
Le, which ones were the Salvia patens? I may have listed them incorrectly in my journal.
I forgot about this experiment in WS. I sowed seeds in each of the pockets of my stacker planters and covered the stack with a giant clear plastic bag, and some with bubble wrap (ran out of plastic bags.) I poked holes so they would get watered and air. The agastaches, Rudbeckia and BES are germinating really well.
Lynn, very nice pictures of your greenhouses. Kind of neat to see them when they don't look so hot, then when everything is planted and growing like wild around them, they look fantastic.
I know i read that before about you getting them off craigs list, i'm always amazed by that ... nothing like that shows up on our craigs list. Just a bunch of tractors ...
Oh, and I chuckled when you said you had a lot of Lea's salvias growing ... mine are germinating too from her!
Thatís the one thatís a blue and I dmailed you to see if you wanted it after seeing your want list :)
Glad your experiment is working out for you that looks like itís going to be a lot of plants too canít wait to see those pictures this year!
Looks like we all have a few salvias coming up :) My black and blues are coming up too :) I didnít WS but three salvias I think the rest are down stairs.
I just got thru WS:
Lychnis Alba ~ didn't think I ordered this one and found it :)
Blue Star ~ Amsonia tabemaemontana
Jack Flash ~ had this in my middle bed and I know I lost it last year never got to see it bloom :(
Saratoga Red ~ Nicotiana
I've still got five or six jugs to get done tonite I'll never catch up with you on those jugs Lynn LOL Don't even have 75 yet!
GREAT! The one I was talking about transplanting that was so much smaller than the rest is doing good too :) We're going to get some blooms this year girl think positive!
I just soaked the B&B for two days and put on a heat mat didn't cover them the mat sitting on maybe 73? I sowed them Mar.18th and they started coming up yesterday but only two so far out of about seven seeds.
Lynn, I love the September pic. That's exactly how I want the outside of mine to look! DId you use that little radiator heater to heat with? I don't want to heat mine full time over the winter, but at this time of year, every once in a while it needs a little heat when I have seedling out there.
I didn't used to soak mine but they come up quicker that way I'm impatient! lol Those darn B&B you're lucky to get good germination with them or I am anyway if I get three plants out of seven seeds I'll be happy never have gotten but two any other time! I'd fall over if they all germinated LOL
Really it just depends on when I get them out I would say over night until you can get to them the next afternoon would probably be good on the MG's, MG's are so hard how long did you soak them. I always have good intentions on planting my seeds after soaking over night on that afternoon but most of the time it gets to be two days lol
I have not had any luck with B&B either. Good for you Lebug!
Msrobin, thank you for the compliment. Yes, I use the oil filled radiator heater in there. It is working very well (except for that freak 10 day freeze we had. But that was my fault, I didn't turn it up high enough. The air was warm enough, but the ground and everything sitting on it was frozen solid.) Bought the heater used on Craig's List also. We are CL freaks, hate to pay the price for new.
Lynn, we're finally to the point here where temps will generally be in the 40's overnite most nights and I doubt we'll have any below 30 the rest of this spring. I've got one of those little heaters and I've been thinking of putting it in the greenhouse on a timer just for insurance. I've rigged an interior tent in the center of the GH and it holds temps well over night at 50+, as long as it's above 35. Just hate thinking about the electric bill.
That's the draw back on greenhouses the only reason I can say to myslef just be glad I don't have one is the electric, not sure how much I would use one if I couldn't afford the electric it's defeats the whole purpose of having a greenhouse to keep plants in if I can't afford the electric. I've seen where people put one by a window beside the house and let the heat go in there in the winter but I don't even have my heat on with the furnace that much in the winter I live in two rooms trying to conserve the LP gas and using one of those little holmes heaters to heat the two rooms with works well in here so I couldn't have a window open all winter to the greenhouse. It will be so nice once the weather stays warm here I'm starting to get cabin fever in these two rooms all of the time lol
LeBug, that's what we're planning on doing this summer. Figured out how to tie into our heat system easily, but not permanently. Since our unit is too big for this place and roast us out of here at night, figured we could use the excess heat to keep the little greenhouse warm at night. Then open the window to let free heat in during the day. At least, that's how it's suppose to work... :)
I've been doing pretty good working on my beds just when I thought I might 'half way' catch up and the weather was really nice we have a cold spell! Just for a couple of days but the weeds can go crazy in those couple of days lol Why doesnít the perennials grow as fast!
I went thru the side yard, well I'm always doing it every where, and pulled all of the dandelions flowers until I can get to them to dig them out and pulled all of the buds getting ready to bloom and the very next day yesterday I had blooms every where again! Like I hadn't even been out there!
I've been working mostly in my mini shade garden I have plants coming from Ella and have so many plants to move from my back shade garden I got a few moved the other day and have spent most of the time trying to dig those nasty wild violets that's a lot of work just on the violets. I've been under the holly tree and transplanting my plumonaria was so worried about those making it after transplanting them they are one of my favorites and would really hate to lost them. Next I need to figure out where my blue vase shaped hosta are down back I have those tall green ones and they look the same when they are coming up.
I've been ignoring my shade garden out back for so long, probably a couple of years and found an astilbe that I forgot I had it gets 30" tall and it's red it's never gotten over a foot high down there just thought it was a shorter one and found the tag to it when I dug it that was a nice surprise lol Guess I have ignored it so long it just never reached it potential, I have a smaller red one and the bridal veil I need to move yet too.
It's turned cold for the next couple of days so I plan to get caught up on sowing some seeds inside really behind on that! But on a good note I have a lot coming up in my WS jugs that makes me very happy :)
Have you found a home for those extra huskerís redís yet Terese I think I have lost mine they should be up by this time and havenít seen any sign of them Iíve been watching was going to move those out of my herb garden. Do you have solomon seal I have some of those Iím moving out of the shade garden and they have multiplied like crazy they need a good home :)
I lost a hosta in the front yard all that is there is a big hole like something had pulled every bit of it down in the ground first time I have seen that happen here!
The vase like hosta are the Krossa Regal couldn't think of the name of them at the time :) I've been sweating those for the last few years the sun is taking over the shade garden because of old trees falling down the past two years I have been wanting to move them but haven't been able to so now I'm trying but I'm wondering if I lost one can't find it anywhere yet coming up it kept getting smaller and smaller but with dad the last year I was taking care of him I didn't get much done then last year I was busy looking for paper work to fight my sister with and now I bet it is gone!
Yes I would love some HR if you have one to spare I don't even have any seedlings out there :( I'm sure I can find something here to trade with you :) I'm kind of busy today but will cmail you tonite how's that :) Still haven't planted my tomatoes so going to soak those for a couple of hrs. and pot my new EE's I just got in the mail :)
Oh thank you Terese :) Nope don't need any of the others but thanks I forgot I sent you some mondra how is it doing I'm going to dig all of mine up out of my middle bed and plant it in the field it does really good there had a bunch growing and this girl that wanted to cut my field to get some sun kept cutting it down lol Now it is no more, she won't be cutting my field this year :)
I had some flax seeds that I wasn't sure if they were red or blue that came up the other day and they are blue :( I have three more jugs of the red though sent one home with Robin when she came :)
It's come back... i've got some nice big clumps now.
You have plenty of Blue Flax??
I was going to run to the PO, but i called and she would not guarantee it was there by Sat, and i dont want the box sitting over the weekend... so i'll mail next week... though DH and I may shoot up to Wisc for spring clean up.
but i'll give you a heads up when the box is in the mail.
I've got plenty of blue flax lol I just gave Robin a couple that were coming up I pitched some seeds last year and they are starting to come up now but have a couple of bigger plants in a couple more beds really never enough of those or the red ones but should have plenty with this other jug coming up I'll have it coming out of my ears lol Do you need any? I have enough to share when they get a little bigger :)
No big hurry on the husker's I have plenty to do to keep me busy right now for sure! The neighbor just unloaded a ham bone on me from Easter and half of the ham that's going into a big old pot of beans and I have tomato seeds soaking at the same time I have to start the bean soup I need to get them out of the soak and plant them :) Digging all of my shade plants out of my shade garden out back and the middle bed plenty to do guess it's about time to get my dahlias and cannas out of the box and pot them up too don't think there is enough time in the week to get everything done and these weeks just keep flying by they won't wait what is up with that LOL
If you want to get rid of so me wild bee balm :) I'll take some you should let me pay postage or do a trade with you if you send some :)
I think the flax is short lived I've had it for three years and not after that I have one that died this year in the middle bed haven't noticed any volunteers but haven't given them much thought out there trying to dig other plants up. I have a large one in the nectar garden too I should check seems like I didn't see that one this year either and it's about the same age. I'm getting ready to clean that bed up here soon I'll let you know what I find.
I've got some pink daisy like plants that are about four ft. high I've been looking for the name of them off and on sooner or later I'll find it lol Maybe 2011 ;P I think they have underground runners they sure multiplied this year and think this is the third year for them too. They may be a good one to plant where they can spread like the field you have out back I plan on planting them in the field they should be pretty there and can roam all they want, wish I could think of the name of them!
It's supposed to be 58į here today so I hope to get out there, too. Not till later though. It's only 38į now. Might be too mucky to do much but should be a good day to pull weeds. (in my case, volunteer flowers)
same here Karen... upper 50's
and in my 'field' days like today are the best for 'clean up' once it gets windy/breezy and the soil dries out, it's like rock hard ... so i have to do all my work on days after it rains.
I did get out there yesterday, winter coat and boots to spray the teasel. i really had spraying with weed killer, but these things are getting very close to my yard and i have to nip it quickly.
I have poison ivy pop up in my beds every now and then just a sprig here and there the ivy that really gives me trouble is that ivy that climbs the trees and kills them I keep cutting it away from my hickory all of the time and I have two stumps that have it all over them they look like shrubs and I'm always forgetting to spray them maybe I can get out there today and spray if they dry off before it gets too warm today it's only getting to 70 they said but this ivy has to be sprayed at 40 degrees to do any good. I find it everywhere when I'm cleaning out beds trying to come in on them! I just don't go out when it's 40 LOL
I hope you get to play in the dirt today too toofew :) Have a good day off! You can keep that snow there though lol
Let me find the plantfile write up about them I was reading the comments and they say to trim them back a couple times a year to keep them from flopping but I didn't notice them flopping last year in my middle bed guess they are an aster I just googled them and finally found the plantfile page to them :) I really liked them but I'm partial to anything that looks like daisies :)
Plantfile says 36" but I know mine were four foot:
Yes they do Meredith just perfect for the field :) I got it in a trade and wasn't told how much it spread it's taken over about a five foot area in two years that's why I say it would go in the field really well lol
Toofew, I don't have any poison oak in the yard I do in the woods next to us I used to go save grape ferns out of the woods and every time end up with PO! I don't get PI but the ivy on the trees is just a wild ivy that takes over everything here! It's hard to catch it when you can spray it like now by the time the leaves dry on it enough to spray it will be warmer than 40 degrees and they say that is when to spray it I can cut it at the bottom of the trees where it starts to go up and that keeps it in check on the trees but I have two stumps just full of it they look like shrubs lol
I was looking in the woods at the edge the other day when I was walking my dog in the field and wondering if I wanted to look for more grape ferns again this year don't think I want to deal with poison oak for this year too much to do lol Those blisters are nasty!